Consulting firms deliver research for World Government Summit

28 June 2021 13 min. read

In the coming months, the World Government Summit will work together with a select group of knowledge partners – all of which are among the globe’s leading consulting firms – on a range of research reports that will help government leaders globally shape their future agenda’s. A round-up of the different fields of research. 

The reports will be a joint production between the World Government Summit and McKinsey & Company, Boston Consulting Group, Oliver Wyman, Kearney, PwC, Strategy&, EY, Accenture and KPMG. They will focus on challenges governments face in a post-Covid-19 word, and provide insights that will help with identifying priorities and recommendations as governments seek to build a better future for humanity. 

“It is a key priority to the World Government Summit to expand the circle of knowledge partnerships with experts, specialists, pioneers of the private sector, and global research centers to anticipate the future of vital sectors, and to design successful solutions for their challenges” said Mohammed Al Gergawi, Chairman of the World Government Summit Organization.

World Government Summit - Knowledge Partners

Further reading: World Government Summit selects top consultancies as partners.

McKinsey & Company

McKinsey & Company's ‘How Governments Can Accelerate the Value of Digital Health’ report will focus on the importance of the future of healthcare and digital health. It also includes the role of digital health during the Covid-19 pandemic, which has transformed and expanded healthcare delivery during and post pandemic. However, there are still many significant challenges facing digital health today and in the future that need to be addressed.

Panco Georgiev, senior partner at McKinsey in the Middle East and co-author of the report, said: “Digital health can unlock tremendous value for governments in enhancing health systems’ operational efficiency, patient experience, and patient outcomes. This report highlights some of the key actions governments can take to scale their digital health services.” 

He added: “Digital health solutions can address some of the key challenges in the healthcare sector such as reducing inequities in healthcare access, and mitigating rising healthcare costs.”

Abdulkader Lamaa, a partner at McKinsey in the Middle East and co-author of McKinsey & Company’s second report ‘Unlocking Government Productivity in the Middle East’ commented: “The report highlights ten high-impact programs for Middle East governments to boost productivity across public entities. Based on our analysis, governments have a sizable opportunity to increase productivity through better tools and processes, a more highly skilled workforce, and more efficient ways of working.”

Boston Consulting Group

The Boston Consulting Group's ‘15 Ways Governments Can Reignite Trade and Growth in the New Economic Reality’ Report highlights the new global economic reality facing governments and how countries urgently need to rethink their strategies in terms of trade, growth, and competitiveness. 

Martin Manetti, Managing Director and Senior Partner, BCG said: “The new reality presents profound challenges for governments across the world. This partnership will strengthen and formalize the already high levels of cooperation between BCG and the World Government Summit to support high-quality and sustainable outcomes as the Covid-19 pandemic influences short- and long-term priorities across the world.” 

Oliver Wyman

The report ‘De-risking the Investment Landscape… High-impact FDI policies for the GCC’, which Oliver Wyman will work on, will shed light on how GCC countries can attract additional foreign direct investment (FDI). It also highlights the need to prioritize regulations and policies that aim to de-risk investment. Such initiatives are most effective when deployed as part of a highly targeted scheme to advance specific economic objectives. 

A previous approach – of overarching, unfocused efforts to attract all possible investments in all potential sectors – has proved to have limited benefits for investors and host countries. A suggested method to attract FDI is highlighted in the report, the approach focuses on attracting foreign direct investment into leading sectors that are based on emerging technology, can achieve high growth levels, and have few incumbent players to avoid overcrowding the sector. 

Pedro Oliveira, Managing Partner IMEA Region at Oliver Wyman said: “Our collaboration with the World Government Summit is symbolic of our commitment to the future and economic development of the region. At a time when world governments are navigating their nations out of one of the most challenging years in recent times, Oliver Wyman is proud to contribute to and support global recovery through our expertise and thought leadership.”

“This year’s report addresses a key topic for the GCC member states, on how they can fully realize the opportunities of foreign direct investment.” 


The report ‘Rebuilding Economies… Operations in a New Norm’ which will be worked on by global consulting firm Kearney, highlights the impact of Covid-19 pandemic on businesses and how governments need to strengthen development financial institutions to provide the stimulus packages, and reshape the recovery towards a more sustainable future.

The pandemic has exacted a heavy toll on the finances of businesses around the world, forcing governments to deliver fiscal support packages at an unprecedented scale, despite their stressed finances. But the aftershocks of the pandemic look set to rattle the global economy for some time to come, and stimulus measures have not been enough to stimulate demand nor can they continue to be extended indefinitely. 

The report argues that leveraging the development financial institutions to channel these stimulus packages will not only aid speedy recovery but also help reorient business activities towards a more environmentally and socially responsible future. 

“The World Government Summit is a preeminent institution advancing the frontier of government innovation globally – an unparalleled laboratory for creating a global future worthy of the generations to come. At Kearney, we are committed to creating what’s next, and to accelerating national visions in close collaboration with our clients and partners around the world,” said Rudolph Lohmeyer, a Partner at Kearney.

“This same purpose orients the work of our National Transformations Institute, our Dubai-based think tank dedicated to enabling future-oriented intentional transformation at the whole-of-society level. Given this deep alignment of purpose, we are deeply honored to be a knowledge partner of the World Government Summit and are committed to working collaboratively in pursuit of the realization of its vitally important work.”

Strategy& and PwC

The report ‘Making Healthcare Systems Resilient ... An Action Plan for the Next Decade’ will focus on enhancing the ability of governments to build resilient health systems that have the ability to adapt to changes. It has become apparent that healthcare systems around the world are to a large extent poorly prepared to meet the demands of the populations during times of a healthcare crisis. 

The Covid-19 pandemic has underscored this harsh truth: from public health capacity to the simple availability of personal protective equipment, governments and healthcare providers have initially struggled and had to urgently built response capacity only as a reaction to the crisis. 

In order for healthcare systems to improve their level of preparedness, Strategy& (part of PwC) developed a framework on how governments can build and assess their health resilience capabilities. They need to have the capacity to prevent, surveil, respond and recover in the face of any shock, stress or adversity. The report will provide a comprehensive plan for action for each of governments, regulators, and healthcare providers, as they must work together to make healthcare systems more robust. 

The report ‘Time to Future Proof… A Blueprint for Holistic Urban Resilience’ by Strategy& will focus on developing a comprehensive and integrated framework that will enable cities to assess their urban resilience level. The framework will allow leaders to examine their exposure to hazards; vulnerabilities in terms of basic needs, society, economy and urban environment; and institutional capacities to respond, recover, and transform in the face of any shock. 

George Sarraf, Partner and Managing Director of Strategy& in the Middle East said: “One of the most important lessons of the Covid-19 pandemic has been the need to build proactive and holistic resilience in healthcare systems and cities. We have found countries across the world struggling to mobilize against the pandemic because of the strain placed on their economic, health, social, and urban infrastructures.”

“The need for resilience, however, goes beyond the pandemic, as there has been rising exposure to natural and human-caused hazards in recent decades. We take a holistic approach to resilience that enables leaders to assess their system’s exposure to hazards and vulnerability, and then build the capacities to respond, recover, and transform in the face of future shocks. By strengthening resilience, leaders can build the capacity to transform through innovation and regeneration.” 

Ernst & Young

EY will work on a report titled ‘Security by Design Safe and Secure Smart Cities in a Volatile Cyber World’. The EY Global Information Security Survey (GISS) 2020 highlighted that 60% of organizations have faced a material or significant incident in the past 12 months, and about one-sixth of these attacks came from “hacktivists”. 

This showcases the cyber threat landscape that governments across the world need to be aware of. The advent of new technologies, being leveraged across smart city landscapes, provides further entry points for attackers. Governments presiding over these cities need to embed a risk mindset from the onset of all technology-based projects. 

Clinton Firth, Global Energy Cybersecurity Leader at EY, said: “The rapid pace of digital transformation, mass adoption of remote working methods and a deep reliance on digital platforms has transformed the cybersecurity landscape, ensuring that it is a top priority for governments and CEOs worldwide. In addition to a high number of organizations having faced a cybersecurity incident in the past year, their workplace landscape and protocols have changed to accommodate pandemic safety measures.” 

“Looking forward, it is clear that the advent of new technologies in the ecosystem, especially smart cities, will provide further entry points for attackers, creating a risk landscape that is harder to mitigate. This makes it incumbent upon both Governments and the private sector to build a resilient cybersecurity strategy with robust risk controls, an enhanced level of cyber-crime awareness and strong internal capabilities.” 


The report ‘Public Service Workforce Disrupted .. Evidence for Improving Public Service as a Career of Choice Around the World’, which Accenture will work on, comes at a very timely moment to understand the current experience of the public sector workforce. Several interviews and research programs took place and covered all levels of seniority across six countries, three levels of government, and multiple sub-industries. 

Accenture also compared public service with for-profit industries. At a high level, we found that public service was under stress: public service was recommended the least to peers of all sixteen industries evaluated. Many executives pointed to a lack of investment in people development and technologies. Three critical areas for interventions emerged to improve government as a career choice, including employer brand, employee experience, and future skills. 

Nadya Kamal, Country Managing Director UAE at Accenture, said: “In the region, we are committed to our partnerships that complement and help governments and organizations alike in harnessing the power of people, technology, and processes to promote employer brand, employee experience, and up-skill the future workforce.” 

“Our research indicates that only 59% of government employees would recommend their employer to a friend. Coupled with changes brought on by the pandemic – the need to reform public sector employment has never been more important.” 


The ‘Principles of Digital Transformation in Cities’ report, which KPMG will work on, will highlight the importance of ‘smart digitalization’ and how it differs across cities. It can range from the adoption of basic automation technologies that facilitate public services to advanced analytics that anticipate challenges in infrastructure development. If deployed appropriately, smart digitalization should not look the same in any two cities.

Underpinning all smart digitalization plans are clear goals to guide funding, defined action plans, focused leadership, and transparency. This blueprint should be adapted to local requirements and ‘citizen-customer’ needs, which results in a differing manifestation from city to city. Promoting service optimization, responsive delivery and end-to-end citizen-customer journeys must be the new norm for municipal services. 

Nader Haffar, Chairman and CEO of KPMG Lower Gulf, said: “Our paper will show that cities need to embrace smart digitalization aligned with a clear vision for the future. And that the realization of ‘smart digitalization’ differs from city to city around the world. It can range from the adoption of basic automation technologies that facilitate public services, to advanced analytics that anticipate challenges in infrastructure development.”

“A set of three principles can help ensure cities undertake smart digitalization and move towards a state focused on meeting both current and future needs. These are: a) adopting a mindset prioritizing ‘citizen-customers’ and the ‘common good’; b) establishing a foundation that enables ‘smart digitalization’ through strong IT and cloud infrastructure, successful partnerships, clear and focused leadership, and continuous learning; and c) using conscientious ‘leapfrogging’ that enables strategic acceleration of the development cycle via digitalization and tech-enabled infrastructure.” 

About the World Government Summit

The World Government Summit was launched in 2013 under the directives of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE, and Ruler of Dubai. The Summit is a global platform that brings together government leaders, ministers, senior officials, decision makers and pioneers from around the world to exchange experiences and knowledge that contribute to the foresight of the future of governments.